Rajasthan is one of India's most visited states, and for good reason. The state in northern India is home to numerous palaces, forts and beautiful natural areas, making it an attractive destination for tourists. For a visit to Rajasthan it is necessary to apply for an Indian visa before departure.
Capital of Rajasthan: Jaipur
Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan, is about 300 kilometres from Delhi and about 240 kilometres from Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located. Many short-term travellers to India visit Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, as these cities are relatively close to each other. These cities are therefore known as the Golden Triangle of India.
JJaipur is also called the Pink City. The city owes this name to the pink colour of the buildings in the old city, which were uniformly painted pink in 1876. The colour pink in Rajasthan traditionally stands for hospitality. The most famous sights of Jaipur are the City Palace - heritage of the Indian Maharajahs - the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and the Amber Fort, built by Maharajah Man Sing, which sits on a hill and offers stunning views over the city. Many travellers also visit the famous Raj Mandir cinema for a Bollywood film. Jaipur is also known for its textile industry. Travellers looking for a souvenir can visit the bazaar for handmade garments in colourful fabrics.
Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds in Jaipur
Many travellers go from Jaipur to Pushkar, a small town only a few hours from Jaipur. This holy city contrasts sharply with Jaipur. It is a suitable city to relax after the hustle and bustle of Jaipur. Spirituality plays an important role in Pushkar and religious ceremonies regularly take place on the city's lake, which is sacred to many Indians.
Heading into the desert: Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer
In the west of Rajasthan lies the Thar Desert, popular among tourists for a camel ride or a visit to the towns of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner. Jodhpur, like the capital of Rajasthan, is a colourful city. Jodhpur, unlike Jaipur, is also called the Blue City because of the many bright blue painted houses. The highlights of Jodhpur are the Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada, a white marble mausoleum that Maharajah Sardar Singh built for his father. For the more adventurous, one of the zip line tours offering breathtaking views of the Mehrangarh Fort and the lakes is recommended.
Another obvious destination is Bikaner, a busy town in the north-western Thar Desert. The city is known for its beautiful mansions, also known as Havelis. In addition, many forts and palaces can be found in the city. The final destination of a tour through the desert for many travellers is Jaisalmer, a city in the far west on the border with Pakistan. Because of the many buildings in yellow sandstone, Jaisalmer is also called the Golden City. The city is considered by many travellers as the most beautiful desert city of India, in part because of its location between the sand dunes. The eye-catcher of the Golden City is Fort Jaisalmer, which towers above the rest of the city.
Udaipur, the Venice of the east
Udaipur, the City of Lakes, is considered the most romantic city in India. The city in the south of Rajasthan consists of several interconnected lakes that give the city an idyllic character. Sights in Udaipur include the City Palace, Lake Pichola - the city's largest lake - and the various Jain and Hindu temples.
Online visa application
Travellers planning to visit Rajasthan must apply for an Indian visa prior to departure. The visa for India can easily be applied for online and will be sent by email once granted. In the application form, travellers must fill in the places they will be visiting in India. Travellers who are going on a tour of Rajasthan and will be visiting several cities need to fill in as many places as possible in the form. It is not a problem if all the cities do not fit into the form. Travellers should print out the visa in colour after it has been granted and take it with them on their journey.